Thoughts On Distribber (Video On Demand Aggregator)

A few years back, I served as the director of operations for Distribber. At the time, Distribber was a wholly owned subsidiary of Indiegogo.

For those of you not familiar with the service, Distribber is a Video On Demand aggregator with a mission to help filmmakers get their movies seen and selling in popular marketplaces. And unlike traditional film distributors, Distribber operates on an upfront payment model, without locking you into a long term agreement.

For a little context on why I love the service, it is important to understand the past. Prior to video on demand, and in order to reach the marketplace, filmmakers HAD to go through a distributor. This meant that distributors had all the power. You either agreed to their terms or your didn’t reach the marketplace.  As a result, many filmmakers agreed to crappy deals.

Given the demise in DVD distribution, filmmakers are now experiencing a paradigm shift. We are entering a world where all roads lead to video on demand. And unlike the old days, filmmakers do not have to take unfavorable deals to reach these marketplaces.

This is where Distribber helps. For an upfront fee and nothing off the back end, filmmakers can get their movies into the marketplace. And unlike traditional distributors, Distribber does not lock you into some long-term, exclusive agreement. With this transparent model, Distribber is very filmmaker friendly.

This means you:

1. Choose your preferred platforms and pay for access.

2. Distribber then works to get your movie into the platform.

If Distribber is  not successful in getting your movie into the selected platform, Distribber refunds your money – minus a processing fee.

[Disclosure: We are a referral partner for Distribber. This means we get paid to advertise and promote. So please conduct your own due diligence prior to making any purchase both here and everywhere on earth.]

I first heard about Distribber years ago when I was trying to help my filmmaker clients get their titles onto iTunes. At the time, I was so enamored by the company that I enthusiastically applied to become a referral partner. And after working successfully with several clients, one thing led to another. And I was hired by Distribber as the director of operations.

Suffice it to say, I know Distribber very well and have stayed friendly with the founder, staff and the new owners.

DistribberThoughts On Distribber

Distribber is run by Nick Soares and his team at DiGi Worldwide. They actually purchased Distribber from Indiegogo.

After the acquisition, Distribber was updated to include partnerships with Redbox, Redbox Instant, Walmart, VuDu, Google Play and a few others. And from what the management reports, Distribber also has plans to expand to new territories including UK, Russia, South America and China.

Distribber also has enhanced the technology a bit.  Here is a snapshot of their new reporting tools:

Distribber_Reports

Distribber has advanced its technology and platform by adding new tools that include an affiliate program and a revenue-reporting tool. With these new distribution partnerships and capabilities, combined with the ability to retain 100 percent of the films’ revenue, filmmakers have more viability in the marketplace for their films.

We acquired Distribber simply because it completed our robust game plan. Allowing filmmakers to receive every option imaginable from funding to distribution, while maximizing their potential to not only return their investment but to actually make a living producing movies.”  Nick Soares CEO

About Distribber

Distribber1Distribber was created to help rights holders maximize the payback from their work and investment.

More specifically, Distribber was conceived as a solution to several persistent complaints from filmmakers and other creative rights holders about distributors in general and aggregators in particular.

In other words, the goal of Distribber is to put the power of a large distributor in the filmmakers hands. To find out more about the Distribber service offering, follow this link.

And if you have questions, please feel free to add them to the comments below.

Minimum Guarantees for Indie Films

Picture this. Your movie is in the festivals. People like it. They are buzzing about your movie and for the past three months, you have been getting calls from distributors. Exciting right? Except the distributors are not offering minimum guarantees. And as a result, you finally realize that 2005 really is over.

Digital has shifted the filmmaking paradigm. Advances in inexpensive production technology has allowed backyard indie filmmakers to flood the market with cheaply produced movies. As an analogy, this is similar to what happens with sweat shop labor. Suddenly once rare and premium goods are no longer as valuable. And as a result, it is difficult for people to make money – especially distributors.

While the days of huge MGs are not completely behind us – getting upfront cash for your movie is very rare (as I’m sure you know) because success of a project is no longer influenced by moving physical product. This explains why you don’t hear about minimum guarantees… It is simply too hard for distributors to predict the success of a digital movie.

With this said, if you want to increase your chances of success, you may consider focusing on the following criteria. Whenever I look to acquire a movie, I’m asking the following questions:

  1. Can I define the audience in 5 seconds?
  2. Does the filmmaker have active and strong social media?
  3. Is the filmmaker invested in the project?
  4. How can we add value to the movie?
  5. Are there merchandising opportunities?

The bottom line is this – A reputable digital distributor is more concerned with the success of your project. So digital distribution agreements are increasingly geared towards revenue share. And because the digital distributor has skin in the game, it behooves them to help make the project a success.

Keep in mind that my specialty is digital distribution. So if you can still find a great DVD deal, you should go for it and take the deal! If not, you should consider some of the modern distribution models.

How To Compress A Video

In the world of Internet video, we’ve come a long way since the dawn of the Internet Age. High speed connections have made it possible for people to stream HD quality films in a matter of seconds. If someone said to you in 1996, “Hey, I’m going to stream an HD movie tonight. Wanna come over and watch?” You’d probably have said, “What’s HD,” then, “What’s streaming,” and finally, “Why don’t we go to Blockbuster?” The good old days weren’t so good [for streaming video].

For most video streaming servers, a 5GB file maximum is imposed; however, video platforms (e.g. Chill, Vimeo, et al.) want to get the highest quality video file from you as they’ll run it through their own system to transcode the file into a variety of formats to accommodate the varying Internet speeds of consumers. At Chill, for the self-distributed platform, we allow filmmakers to upload their film directly to us (with the 5GB limitation). It’s a faster process that gets your film up and running quickly. But how does one get the maximum quality out of their film and keep the file under 5GB?

For browser-based video uploads, a 5GB file limitation is often imposed by the server receiving the file. In the following filmmaking video, I demonstrate how to use an open-source video converter. I will utilize MPEG Streamclip (Mac/Windows) to limit the file size, while maintaining the highest quality possible.

How To Compress A Video

Please note: Enable “Multi-pass” and “B-Frames” to increase quality. Multi-pass will dramatically increase export time.

– – –
George Rausch is the Digital Distribution Manager at Chill with the goal of helping independent filmmakers take their films through the cycle of self-distribution to full-distribution on multiple platforms. Connect with George on Twitter and LinkedIn.

New Hampshire Film Festival

Over the past decade everything in the world of filmmaking has changed. Technology has improved. Distribution has evolved. And filmmakers have taken on the task of distributing their own movies.

If you’ve been reading filmmaking stuff for any length of time, you know how much I obsess over distribution. Why? Because it is essential to your movie business. Without distribution, it is difficult to get financing. So as you plan your next project, if you do not create a marketing, sales and distribution plan, you do not have a filmmaking business – You have a hobby.

On Saturday, October 15th you can find me at the New Hampshire Film Festival. I will be sharing the stage with a group of industry executives and distribution gurus – talking about the current state of movie marketing and distribution and what YOU need to do to get your movie seen and selling.

Film Distribution Topics Covered

  • Distribution Tools for filmmakers
  • How to get your movie into the popular marketplaces
  • SEO for filmmakers
  • How to optimize your movie website for maximum sales
  • Email marketing for filmmakers
  • Leveraging social networks (Twitter and FaceBook) to promote movies
  • And more…

In the event you cannot attend the New Hampshire Film festival, I suggest you grab a copy of the Indie Producer’s Guide to Digital Self-Distribution. The step-by-step system contains nearly a decade of movie marketing and distribution tactics so YOU can get your movie seen and selling ASAP.

The Indie Producer’s Guide To Distribution

This guide provides a step-by-step resource for getting your finished feature seen and sold. This site contains resources on how to leverage the ever changing world of digital distribution and internet marketing.


Happy Filmmaking!

Movie Distribution: 7 Ways To Sell Your Movie Without The Middle Man

If you’re a filmmaker with a movie… Before you accept some crappy distribution deal from a traditional movie distribution company – you might benefit from the following audio recording. In it, I provide seven steps you can utilize to sell your movie without the middle-man.

As I have written before,  I believe the days of DVD distribution are numbered. And I think it is prudent for filmmakers to quit relying on outside 3rd parties to distribute independent movies. While modern distribution may seem easy for some moviemakers, these changes represent a total paradigm shift for others.

For those of you eager to embrace this new movie distribution world, I have provided the same seven steps I use to promote my own movie business.

Download Here (Right click and save)

After listening to the audio, please feel free to tell your friends. And if you would like more information, check out The Independent Producer’s Guide To Digital Distribution Happy Filmmaking!